GLEN ROSE – As first-year Glen Rose head football coach, Cliff Watkins played the role of astute observer Tuesday afternoon, his football players – the skill positions, at least – were busy blazing around the turf inside Tiger Stadium. The “score” was being loosely kept, but it was evident that the Tigers were far superior to their 3A replacement, Tolar Rattlers.

It could be the infusion of new offensive and defensive schemes, a move-in in the form of a budding wide receiver star or even an already established 4A all-state safety. Or, perhaps, it was a swagger that has been missing for much of the last 12 months.

Then again, all of the above combined with clinching an adidas Texas 7v7 Championship berth by way of a four-game sweep of the Brownwood State Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, June 11 could also add a little pep to a high school footballer’s step.

“I think it definitely builds confidence going forward and another good thing about going to the state tournament is that it gives us just another opportunity to go out, get better and compete as a team,” Watkins said. “Now we are guaranteed four more games that we were, so we get to go out and continue to grow.

“They have obviously been able to throw and catch for a long time, but their ability to grow with the new concepts and understanding of the offense and defense has helped to build that confidence for them. I think they are starting to feel more comfortable in their role and that is one of the biggest things I’ve seen so far in our growth.”

This will be the Tigers’ first time competing in the state 7-on-7 tournament since Colten Lane was at the helm of the offense in 2014. That year, while competing in Division II, the Tigers swept their pool play games against Melissa, Sheppard and Wimberley, before bowing out 34-20 to Kountz.

Glen Rose also appeared in the tournament in 2013, but went 0-4.

The DII adidas Texas 7v7 Championships are slated for Thursday and Friday, July 7-8 at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station.

Pools A-H will play July 7 at 1, 3 and 5 p.m., while Pools I-P will begin at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. With two weeks of qualifying tournaments to go, Glen Rose does not yet know its pool assignment.

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Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith

(254) 897-2282